THE SETTING The Parker Co. (800/280-2811; www.theparkercompany.com; weekly rentals $350-$18,000) short-lists 10 of its 400 properties for wedding parties; at these select few, the owners double as coordinators. Among the villas are a group of farmhouses in Tuscany that sleeps up to 100 and a medieval castle in Umbria that accommodates 19. • For a Tuscan country wedding, consider the Villa Fontelunga (39-0575/660-410; www.villafontelunga.com; $2,650 per night for 16 guests, three-night minimum stay), overlooking Cortona. Its three stylish owners create celebrations with white linens and white flowers against a backdrop of terraced gardens and olive groves. THE EXPERT The Italian-born wedding consultants at the London firm Italia Romantica (44-208/830-2090; www.italiaromantica.com) can manage every detail of any wedding, down to the translation of the vows and the selection of wines. THE ICING Float over the Tuscan countryside on a balloon tour led by Buddy Bombard's Europe (800/862-8537; www.bombardsociety.com; $9,893 per person for seven days, all-inclusive), stopping for visits at local farms, villages, and castles. THE FINE PRINT Marrying in Italy is difficult, as it requires not only translating all legal documents into Italian but also dealing with sporadic business hours and long lines at the U.S. Consulate. Call a planner or the Italian Consulate in New York (212/439-8633) for details.
THE SETTING Oahu's famous Halekulani (800/367-2343 or 808/923-2311; www.halekulani.com; doubles from $325) specializes in sunset weddings on its terrace, overlooking Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. After the ceremony, the candles are lit, the cocktails are served, and the bridal party is ushered into Yves Garnier's La Mer for dinner prepared by the only Michelin-starred chef in the state. • The Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa (800/888-6100 or 808/875-1234; www.grandwailea.com; doubles from $450) on Maui prepares the bride and groom with a day of spa treatments. Ceremonies in the open-air chapel begin with a processional of torch-bearing maidens, conch-shell blowers, and Polynesian drummers, and end with the release of doves. THE EXPERT When Hawaii event consultant Dean Christopher (808/733-4633; firstname.lastname@example.org) plans a wedding, society attends: for recent projects, he ordered favors from Georg Jensen, entwined chandeliers with 30 dozen roses each, and flew a Vera Wang couture gown from New York to Hawaii for fittings. THE ICING Take surf lessons. A flower-draped statue of Duke Kahanamoku (the father of the sport) marks the spot where teachers and boards of all sizes congregate on Waikiki Beach. At the Princeville Resort on Kauai (800/325-3589 or 808/826-9644; www.princeville.com; doubles from $425) the beach boys start beginning surfers on a nine-foot-long board in sandy-bottomed Hanalei Bay. THE FINE PRINT No residency, waiting period, or blood test is required, but couples need to apply for a 30-day license. Call Hawaii's Marriage License Office at 808/586-4545 or go to www.hawaii.gov/doh/recordsvr_marri.html to download an application.
THE SETTING Waiheke Island, near Auckland, is celebrated for its red wines, and Derek and Sally Holland, owners of Waiheke's English country-style winery Glenora Estate (64-9/372-5082; www.intimatewedding.co.nz; doubles from $176, including breakfast), specialize in intimate weddings. He's licensed to perform the ceremony, and she's a noted portrait photographer who will take the pictures. They have only three guest rooms on the estate but can throw a party for 100 in collaboration with a local vineyard and find accommodations for guests elsewhere on the island. • The lodge and rooms at Kauri Cliffs (64-9/405-1905; www.kauricliffs.com; doubles from $1,005, including breakfast and dinner), opened in 2001, were designed by Virginia Fisher, the Ian Schrager of New Zealand hotel design. Sunrise wedding ceremonies are held on a whitewashed, pillared veranda above the Pacific, with Maori tribal elders in attendance. • Snowcapped mountains and ancient forests above a glacier-fed lake are the setting at Blanket Bay (64-3/442-9442; www.blanketbay.com; doubles from $598, including breakfast and dinner), one of New Zealand's most sumptuous lodges. It delivers luxury, adventure, and wedding photos that seem to have been art-directed by J.R.R. Tolkien. THE EXPERT Extreme adventurers should call Vanessa Leeming of Cashmere Heights Weddings (64-3/377-3317; www.wednz.com) and ask for the 12,349-foot-high "Wedding at Altitude." Leeming ferries bride, groom, and civil celebrant by helicopter to Mount Cook National Park, where the couple is joined on the peak while a bottle of bubbly cools in the snow. For the agoraphobic, she can arrange more-subdued weddings as well. THE ICING Travel by AS-350 Squirrel helicopter to the remote Rangitikei River—its trout are so abundant they're visible from the air. Before landing and unpacking the fly-fishing gear, the pilot from Chris Jolly Outdoors (64-7/378-0623; www.chrisjolly.co.nz) will hover over the wild horses in Kaimanawa and the active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park. THE FINE PRINT A three-day waiting period can be avoided by mailing copies of required documents (birth certificate, passport, and divorce decree, if applicable) to the wedding planner or hotel in advance. They can file your Notice of Intended Marriage; you pick up your license. Check the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Web site, www.dia.govt.nz, for details.